I remember a time where people just didn’t get excited about updates to operating systems. Apple, the wily spinmasters that they are, now have people excited about their phone launches and software updates. The latest of these software updates is iOS 11 which brings augmented reality to your iPhone.
What is Augmented Reality?
Right now, there’s a bit of a battle going on between two platforms; augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Both involved computer generate graphics with one key difference. When viewing VR, everything you see is computer generated. AR is a combination of computer-generated imagery real word images or video.
Here’s an example of a cool AR app that we came across in Dublin last year:
AR isn’t a brand new technology at all. Android has been developing their AR software, Project Tango, for some time. Credit where it’s due, Apple has won this battle to get AR to the masses. With this roll out, millions of people will now be able to play with a very accessible new technology. Once Apple adopts something, the world takes notice.
Once Apple adopts something, the world takes notice
Which iPhones Are Capable of Augmented Reality?
While not all iPhones support AR, it will be available on a large selection of iOS devices following the iOS 11 update. Here are the iPhone’s which support augmented reality:
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone SE
The iPhone SE is the most surprising inclusion on the list, but it does make sense as it’s an iPhone 6s in a 5s body. If you’re thinking it’s time to upgrade, check out all the pricing.
The Best AR Apps on iPhone
Now that you know if you can play with AR on your iPhone, here are some of the best apps to download. The best way to understand AR is just go play with it!
While most of these apps are free, to get the most out of them you’ll need to bump
TapMeasure is the iPhone’s augmented reality poster boy, which is funny because you probably use a measuring tape once or twice a year. Still, don’t let that take away from how cool this app is.
TapMeasure lets you measure room sizes, distances or object sizes. The app can even tell how level paintings are hanging on your walls.
2. AirMeasure AR
AR can do loads more than measuring, I promise. AirMeasure AR does double up on some of TapMeasure’s features. It does have the additional benefit of letting you place virtual furniture in your home.
3. Magic Sudoku
Apparently, solving sudokus is considered a form of brain training and can help your mental health, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. So using AR to solved puzzles faster will help even more right?
Ok, that was a terrible joke and this is an app that’s been created purely because some developer got bored and wanted to prove it could be done. Using AR and Magic Sudoku, you can solve sudokus immediately by simply lining them up with your smartphone.
— Brad Dwyer (@braddwyer) September 19, 2017
These guys are smart. It’s quite obvious that the likes of Housecraft will have Ikea fawning over them in no time at all. Housecraft is dedicated to helping you style your home. Place chairs, tables, couches and more around your room and then move around to see how it affects the feel of the room. Great idea for new homeowners or people doing a spot of redecorating.
You can even spruce up your garden too.
— Asher Vollmer (@AsherVo) September 19, 2017
5. AR Fidget Spinner
Ok, so it’s the early days of a very exciting platform and a lot of developers are simply taking the piss. Yup, you can play with an AR fidget spinner. Are they even still a thing?
Let’s keep moving…
This definitely makes the ever-growing list of cool, but slightly useless AR apps that have heralded the launch of this new platform. #wordup does one simple task; it lets you write words somewhere in the real world and view them through your iPhone. Maybe it’s a unique way to wish someone a happy birth or just a cool way to send a message. Whatever the reason, you can download #wordup for iOS now.
Like most AR stuff, it’s cooler when you watch it:
7. Conduct AR
Ok, so at €3.99, this is at the higher end of the price scale when it comes to apps, but gaming is where AR is going to excel. Conduct AR lets you turn any surface into a trainset. You’ll have to move around the full set ensuring all the trains run on time. But, when you’re done, you don’t have to tidy anything away. Amazing.
There are more apps being released every day, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back for the latest AR powered apps. You can be sure they get even more useful as we go along.